NORMAN — Travis Ford knows the score, because it's simple.
That's 0-for-4 for the Oklahoma State coach in Bedlam games in Norman. And that's when Ford's had the better squad (2010-11), been relatively even (2012) or carried an overmatched club (2009) into Lloyd Noble Center.
Is that any way to stoke a rivalry?
“Since I've been here, it's been pretty split,” Ford said. “We haven't won there. They've beaten us (in Stillwater) once. We've gotten them in the Big 12 Tournament a couple of times. So it's pretty even.
“I think that makes a good rivalry, when you're competing against each other.”
This time, of course, with OSU due in Norman for the latest Bedlam clash on Saturday, Ford and his Cowboys aren't interested in any series status quo. Their search for a road win anywhere already a high priority, winning at OU would solve that elusive quest and stir up the same-ol' Bedlam storyline.
“It'll help a lot,” said Cowboys forward Le'Bryan Nash. “You know how we've been on the road in past years… not very good. Getting road wins, I think, is better than home wins. You go on the road into a tough environment and come out with a W, that just sends a message to your opponent.
“Especially Oklahoma. It's Bedlam, so we're going to go in there and try to get a big win.”
OSU, receiving enough votes in both of the major polls to stand just outside of the Top 25, must reverse two-plus seasons of road woes to establish itself as a true Big 12 contender. Dating back to 2010-11, the Cowboys are 1-17 in enemy Big 12 arenas. They failed in their first bid this season, falling 73-67 at No. 18 Kansas State a week ago.
So there's that, as well as a shaky history inside Lloyd Noble Center. Not only is Ford 0-4, OSU hasn't won in Norman since 2004 and has dropped 10 of its last 11 games there overall.
“Going into this game, it's Bedlam, so we're going to be focused. They're going to be focused,” Nash said. “It'll be a rowdy crowd.
“We've just got to be prepared. Hopefully we can understand the mentality we need to go in there and win. Because we need a road win. We need road wins to survive in this league.”
OSU's recent trips down I-35 have been frustrating for a variety of reasons.
In 2009, the Cowboys gave the fourth-ranked Sooners and Blake Griffin a scare, only to lose 82-78, before upsetting OU the next week in the Big 12 Tournament.
The following year, OSU lost in overtime, 62-57, as the Sooners surged ahead once Big 12 Player of the Year James Anderson was knocked out of the game for an extended period and clearly not the same once he returned.
In 2011, cold second-half shooting doomed the Cowboys in a 64-61 loss.
And last year, the Cowboys managed but 12 first-half points – one more than the program's all-time low – rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit to get within three, only to fade late in falling 77-64. Nash remembers it well, for more than the outcome.
“I broke my hand,” he said, referring to an odd play that forced him to miss the remaining four games. “It was tough. We didn't knock down any shots in the first half at all.
“I'm thinking about that and helping this team remember that. Hopefully, we can go in there and some things will be different.”